The Eden Killer Whale Museum is set to undergo a "much needed" significant upgrade comprising two new galleries, an archival storage area and an elevator.
A statement made by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on Monday, March 11, confirmed the popular museum will receive $640,000 in funding under the federal government's Building Better Regions fund.
EKWM committee president Jack Dickenson said the extensions will allow for better flow through of visitors as well as enabling the museum to host touring exhibitions more conveniently. He said the installation of a lift will give visitors access to all floors.
"The museum space was initially designed for a lot less people. The number of visitors has risen significantly over the past few years especially on cruise ship days. The extensions will make all the difference," Mr Dickenson said.
Talking to the Magnet in September last year, EKWM curator Jody White said the building had not had an upgrade in 25 years.
Mr Dickenson said the long awaited renovations wouldn't be underway until a little later in the year.
"As soon as we get the plans back from council then we can start looking for a builder," he said.
Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan described the upgrade as a great outcome for the South Coast.
“These types of projects make our regional communities even better places to live, work and raise a family and I’m excited to see the positive difference this funding will make to the community,” Senator Molan said.
It is hoped the renovations will be completed in time for the museum’s 90th birthday in February 2021.
The celebrations are already gaining traction and with more space it seems like the momentum is growing.
"We have already started talking about it, there are a few ideas floating around. It's good to get the ball rolling a few steps ahead," Mr Dickenson said.
Bega Valley projects awarded funding through round three of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund:
- $18,000.00 Bega Valley Shire Council; Bega Valley Regional Economic Development Future Vision Platform.
- $21,175.00 Nethercote Residents Association Incorporated ; Deck Extension to Nethercote Community Hall.
- $50,450.00 Merimbula Tourism Incorporated; Merimbula Visitor Information Centre Relocation and Re-establishment.